98-99 University Bulletin Entry for:

General Science

(file last updated: [8/10/1998 - 15:23:45])


The general science programis designed for students planning to enter interdisciplinary fields,teach science in secondary schools, enter medicine, public health,dentistry, veterinary medicine, and their allied fields, enterthe optometry profession, the field of biomedical engineering,or undertake other programs requiring a general scientific backgroundor a particular mixture of science courses. Joint majors withother departments in the sciences are also possible. Studentswho intend to do graduate work in a specific scientific fieldare advised to fulfill the undergraduate requirements for concentrationin that field.

How to Become a Concentrator

General science is an appropriateconcentration for students having a broad interest in science,particular professional or pre-professional objectives that requirea particular mix of science courses such as health-related areasincluding medicine or for students who wish to base a particulargroup of science electives on a broad general base in the beginningcourses in all of the sciences. As in other science areas, prospectivegeneral science majors should start early in planning their programsbecause of various prerequisites that may apply to particularcourses and to allow sufficient time to make application to professionalschools. Students who wish to have some flexibility in the designof their advanced programs will find general science to be a congenialmajor that also offers the possibility of an honors program andjoint majors with other science departments.


Emily Dudek, Chair


Timothy Hickey

(Computer Science)

Thomas Hollocher


Paul Monsky


Hugh Pendleton


Joan Press


Requirements for Concentration

A.Required of all candidates: BIBC 22a; BIOL 22b; BIOL 18a,b; CHEM10a or 11a with 18a or CHEM 15a with 19a and CHEM 10b or 11b with18b or 15b with 19b. MATH 10a,b or 11a,b and PHYS 10a,b or 11a,bwith 18a,b or 19a,b. Satisfactory grades (C- or above) must bemaintained in all of these required courses.

B.Elective courses: With the approval of the program's advisinghead, a candidate in the general science program must also offerthe equivalent of six advanced semester courses from the offeringsof the School of Science. Such courses must be selected from atleast two and not more than four fields within the School of Science.The following courses may not be elected: all courses designedexclusively for the University Studies Program in Science andMathematics such as Biological Science (BISC), Physical Science(PHSC), etc.; all courses numbered below 20 (except that COSI10a and 11b and MATH 8a and 15a may serve as electives), or 90through 99, or neuroscience courses below 100; or courses outsidethe School of Science. Candidates offering elective courses havinglaboratories (except physical chemistry) are required to enrollin any laboratories accompanying the course, e.g., students offeringCHEM 25a,b must also complete CHEM 29a,b.

C.No course offered for concentration requirements in general sciencemay be taken pass/fail. No more than one unsatisfactory passinggrade (below C-) in a semester course will be accepted among theelective courses offered to fulfill the requirements for thisconcentration.

D.Honors program: Concentrators in general science who wish to earna degree with honors must satisfactorily complete an honors program.No later than September of the year in which honors are to beearned, the candidate petitions the general science committeeto devise an honors program consisting of laboratory research,special courses, or both. Approval of this petition is requiredto admit a student to the honors program. Laboratory researchis conducted under the sponsorship of a faculty member of theSchool of Science; the student enrolls in the 99 course offeredby the department to which the sponsor belongs. If a student wishesto work with a research director outside the School of Scienceor outside of Brandeis, a faculty member of the Brandeis Schoolof Science must consent to act as the local sponsor. On completionof the thesis, the sponsor (or outside research director and localsponsor) makes a recommendation for honors to the general sciencecommittee to accompany the submission of the thesis. The generalscience committee will then determine whether the student hassuccessfully completed the honors program and will recommend thelevel of honors to be awarded.